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How To Decorate A Bay Window

Bay windows are a great addition to any home because they offer a unique look and feel. They allow natural light to enter the room, brightening the room and opening the home. They also provide a great view of the outside and are perfect for enjoying the scenery from the comfort of your own home. Additionally, bay windows can add seating and storage space, making them a great feature for any home!

So we know they are a great feature, but how does one decorate a bay window? Here are some great design tips and tricks to emulate in your home when deciding how to decorate a bay window.

Basics of a Bay Window

Bay windows are a great way to add natural light and extra space to a room. The basics of a bay window include a large central window that is flanked by two smaller windows, usually at an angle, with the overall shape forming a semi-circle.

Transitional home office bay window designed with a French desk centered in the forefront paired with a slipcovered light gray chair. Brown bamboo roman shades finish the windows with a darker trim contrasting the natural linen desk chair.
Photo Credit: Kat Lawton

The windows are often installed in the corner of a room, and the frames are typically made of wood or vinyl. Bay windows can be used to create extra seating, and they can also be used to create a dramatic focal point in a room.

Purple chaise lounge in the corner of a master bedroom bay window beside a gold leaf floor lamp and a round lucite accent table. Bay window wainscoting adds a decorative touch to the walls with windows dressed with purple floral shades.
Photo Credit: Bennett Lerner

Decorating a bay window can be a lot of fun, and with the right approach, you can make your bay window the centerpiece of your room. Here are some tips and tricks to help you decorate your bay window and create a gorgeous and unique look for your home.

Chic game room features a bay window fitted with gray window seats alongside white and gray cushions. A modern ping pong sits in front of a bay window.
Photo Credit: Krista Home
In an arched bay window nook, a blond oak waterfall console table is placed over gray x-stools and topped with black and white lamps lighting windows dressed in white roman shades.
Photo Credit: Massucco Warner

Start with a Clean Slate

Before you begin decorating your bay window, make sure to clean it thoroughly and remove any existing window treatments. This will ensure that you have a blank canvas to work with when decorating.

A white pagoda lantern hangs over a round brown leather ottoman placed on a crochet rug ad surrounded by white wingback lounge chairs. The chairs sit in front of bay windows dressed in ivory and black curtains.
Photo Credit: Kate Marker Interiors

Choose the Right Window Treatments

Depending on the amount of natural light you want to let in and the level of privacy you want to achieve, choose the right window treatments for your bay window. Consider curtains, blinds, shutters, or shades that will not only provide you with the right amount of privacy, but will also add texture and color to your bay window.

Sheer gray curtains cover bay windows framed by light gray wall paint and positioned behind a nickel and marble accent table placed between white slipper chairs topped with green zebra pillows.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Backstein Interiors
Green trimmed roman shades are layered under a white valance and hung from bay windows positioned over a built-in kitchen bench.
Photo Credit: HW Interiors

When selecting the best window treatments for a bay window, there are many options to choose from. If you want to highlight the architectural details of the window, you could choose lightweight sheer curtains or blinds that will let in lots of light while still providing privacy.

A Moroccan accent table sits on a blue rug in front of a built-in bay window bench topped with gray striped cushions accented with red pillows. The windows are covered in red and blue roman shades.
Photo Credit: Peter Dunham

If you want more privacy and light control, you could select heavier curtains or blinds that can be opened and closed as needed. Roman shades are a great option as they can provide an elegant look while still allowing you to control the amount of light you let into the room.

A bay window mini breakfast nook features a round marble and brass dining table with black cane dining chairs and a bay window built in bench near a white sofa.
Photo Credit: Lux Decor
Bay windows covered in bamboo roman shades are located over a white built-in window seat boasting drawers with brass cup pulls and a blue velvet cushion topped with red and green pillows.
Photo Credit: Alexandra Kaehler

Whatever you choose, make sure to measure carefully so your window treatments will fit perfectly and will be able to open and close quickly.

Bathroom features a bay window with oval bathtub, a round nickel and glass accent table and cream curtains.
Photo Credit: Bone Steel Trout Hall
Light gray striped roman shades hang from bay windows over a white built-in bench topped with a blue cushion and pink and blue pillows.
Photo Credit: Annsley Interiors

Add Furniture

If you have enough room, consider adding a window seat or bench that can be used for extra seating, storage, or just to make your bay window look cozy. Alternatively, you can add a small table with a couple of chairs, or a console table that can be used as a workspace or a place to display décor.

A white sheepksin rug sits in front of gray rope and wood lounge chairs placed on a stained wood floor in front of pay windows framed by gray shiplap.
Photo Credit: Tracy Hardenburg Design

Balance Fabrics

When choosing fabrics for your window treatments and furniture, it’s crucial to balance colors and patterns. Choose colors that will complement each other, and if you’re going for a patterned look, make sure to mix and match different patterns to create a visually pleasing look.

Blue velvet dining chairs sit in a bay window nook flanked by blue Greek key curtains.
Photo Credit: Kara Adam Interiors

Add Accessories

To complete the look of your bay window, add a few accessories, such as pillows, throws, candles, vases, or plants. Choose items that will complement your existing décor and tie your look together.

Contemporary living room designed with a black French daybed and stripe bolster pillows on a gray and tan rug in front of a bay window with black French chairs and an antique table.
Photo Credit: Zoe Feldman Design

Things to Avoid

You should not place any furniture or items that are too large or bulky around a bay window, as this can make the area look cluttered and make it challenging to move around. Additionally, you should avoid placing items that may block the sunlight from entering the window, as this can obstruct the natural light and warmth from entering the room.

Lastly, you should avoid placing items that may be hazardous or dangerous in the vicinity of the bay window.

Contemporary nursery with a bay window furnished with an ivory wingback rocker and a fiddle leaf fig plant. Gray roman shades adorn the bay windows surrounded by white and gray wallpaper walls.
Photo Credit: rtg designs
Turquoise blue roman shades hang from bay windows surrounded by white shiplap and located over a white built-in storage bench with turquoise blue knobs. The bench is topped with a turquoise blue and green cushion accented with turquoise blue and green pillows.
Photo Credit: Annsley Interiors

Decorating a bay window can be a lot of fun and a great way to add a unique touch to your home. With the right approach and a little bit of creativity, you can easily create a beautiful and inviting look for your bay window.

Kitchen bay window with tan shades features ivory built in cabinets accented with oval bronze knobs and white and silver marble countertops and dark wooden floors, illuminated by a mercury glass lantern.
Photo Credit: Lindsey Black Interiors – Kitchen bay window with tan shades features ivory built in cabinets accented with oval bronze knobs and white and silver marble countertops and dark wooden floors, illuminated by a mercury glass lantern.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the benefits of installing bay windows?

Bay windows bring natural light into your home, create a more open feel, and can even make a room look larger. They can also provide additional living space, when a window seat is added.

What types of window treatments work best for bay windows?

Bay windows often require unique window treatments, such as custom drapery or shutters. You can also use a combination of treatments, such as a blind or shade on the bottom part, and a valance or curtains on the top part.

How much does it cost to install a bay window?

The cost of installing a bay window will vary depending on the size and type of window, as well as the complexity of the installation. It is best to consult a window professional to get an accurate price estimate.

What type of curtains should you use for bay windows?

The best type of curtains to use for bay windows will depend on the style and purpose of the room. If you are looking for a modern, elegant look, you could opt for a sheer or lightweight fabric with a neutral color palette. If you are looking for something more classic or traditional, opt for heavier fabrics like velvet or linen in colors that will match your existing décor.

How should you hang curtains on a bay window?

The best way to hang curtains on a bay window is to use a curtain rod that is specifically designed to fit the shape of the window. You will also want to measure the window to ensure that the rod is the correct length for your curtains. Additionally, you can use eyelet or tab-top curtains for a neat, professional look.

What other tips are there for decorating bay windows?

To really make your bay window stand out, consider adding a window seat or bench beneath the window. This can provide a great spot to relax and take in the view outside. You could also add accent pillows or cushions to the window to add a pop of color. Additionally, you can hang some light fixtures on either side of the window to create a cozy atmosphere in the room.

Holly Antoine
Holly Antoine is a Home, Lifestyle and DIY content creator. After leaving behind an 11-year career in the dental field to pursue her passion for design and decor, she developed her own branded site, HollyGrace.ca, where she shares her love of home design, decor, DIYs and inspires others to get creative and build[...]

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